Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Talk Tuesday-Wishing You A Blessed and Christ-Centred New Year!

Yesterday we had the pleasure of attending our last prayer meeting for 2013 (special thanks to the Eternal Light Community). We were blessed to hear the word of prophecy given by two separate sisters in the church, exhorting us to enter into the fire of God's love (for those not familiar with prophecy or the Gifts of the Spirit, please read 1 Corinthians 14). As I began to ponder what the Spirit of the Lord was saying to me about God's love, the mirror of His Word began to reflect on my own heart, and the lessons that I learned this past year.

God's love demands our trust. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6  

God's love demands our total commitment. "Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’" Matthew 22:37

God's love demands our forgiveness. "14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:14-15

God's love makes atonement for our sins. "9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." 1 John 4:9-10

God's love casts out our fear. "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18

God's love doesn't let go of us. "37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39

We wish you a Blessed and Christ-Centred New Year! Bask in God's love, allow it to transform you, to fill you, to comfort you and to renew you. God's love is accessible to us through His Son Jesus Christ, the Incarnate One. "GOD IS LOVE," 1 John 4:8

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Christmas can be a difficult, lonely and painful time for many. There are those who have lost loved ones, those who have never known true love, and those who have neither heat nor shelter to keep them warm, nor food to keep them nourished. There are others who are rushing around in a frenzied state, shopping for last minute gifts and dealing with the hustle and bustle of crowded malls.

We wanted to share the gift of JESUS CHRIST with you today. CHRISTmas is not only about JESUS' birth, but it is about what His birth signifies. JESUS is:

"...a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel." Luke 2:32

"Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

"Immanuel (which means 'God with us')." Matthew 1:23

"The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29

 If we take some time out, silence all the other voices around us and listen, we will hear Him saying: 

“Behold, I make all things new.” Revelations 21:5

"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." Luke 19:10

"I am the way and the truth and the life." John 14:6

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Talk Tuesday-Jesus Is For All People

Jesus came for the Jew, the Gentile, the rich, the poor, the sinner, the saint. His birth was the fulfillment of the promise God communicated through His servants, the Prophets. The words from Isaiah 7:14 is confirmed in Matthew 1:22-23, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel' (which means 'God with us').” When Jesus' birth was announced to the shepherds tending their flock in the fields nearby, the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord,” Luke 2:10-11. These words were spoken at the birth of the Saviour. Many words were spoken after His death and resurrection.

Peter and the disciples received the promised Holy Spirit after Jesus ascended into heaven. In the book of Acts Chapter 10, we meet a Gentile named Cornelius. The Bible describes him as 'devout and God-fearing', a man who 'gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly,' (Acts 10:2). An angel of the Lord appeared to him, saying, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter,” Acts 10:4-5. The Lord showed Peter all manner of unclean animals, according to Jewish custom, in a vision. He said, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat,” Acts 10:13.

When Peter finally arrived at Cornelius' home, there was a large gathering of Gentiles, to whom he said, “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean,” Acts 10:28. Upon hearing of Cornelius' visitation by the angel, Peter said, “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.  You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all,” Acts 10:34-36. The Bible says that while Peter was speaking to Cornelius and his people, “...the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God,” Acts 10:44-46.

This CHRISTmas let us remind ourselves and those around us that JESUS came for all people.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Talk Tuesday-When He Says Your Name

This week I was reading about the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. My heart grieved as I imagined the pain of the cross, the pain of suffering and the shock His followers felt, seeing Him crucified in such a degrading way. It was as though He willed Himself to endure it all to the bitter end, just so that He could declare, 'It is finished,' John 19:30.

I wanted the Resurrection without the Crucifixion. I wanted to experience the joy without the tears, the victory without the trial. Like most of us, I want to rejoice in eternity without ever knowing the valley of the shadow of death.

I read about Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom Jesus had cast out 7 demons.

“11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13 They asked her, 'Woman, why are you crying?' 'They have taken my Lord away,' she said, 'and I don’t know where they have put him.'” John 20:11-13

I imagined her slumped over in sorrow, in the agony of confusion. Her Lord has been crucified, and now His body had been removed. Her Champion and Redeemer, the Restorer of her dignity and sense of worth, had simply vanished. Engulfed in anguish and despair, she heard the voice of the One who saved her, but did not recognize it.

“14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15 He asked her, 'Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?' Thinking he was the gardener, she said, 'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.'” John 20:14-15

Then next words shook my heart, causing me to weep as I realized how powerful they truly were.

“16 Jesus said to her, 'Mary.'” John 20:16

It caused me to think about the many times I have been so consumed by my own problems, and so overwhelmed by life's circumstances that I forgot He was even there. I remembered how it felt when I heard the Lord call out my own name, and how it felt to know that He was right there with me in the midst of the storm. I was never alone. We are never alone.

Sometimes people wonder how Christians can worship in the midst of suffering. They marvel at our ability to stand in faith when sight screams, 'there is no hope.' It is because of the One who says, “...and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” Matthew 28:29

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Talk Tuesday-What Are You Living For?

What Are You Living For? Today I am reminded that life on this earth is temporal. We do not know how long our earthly journey will be, but we do know that one day it will come to an end. So, how should we spend our lives here on earth?

Death is a sobering reality. When we experience loss, its painful thrust can help recalibrate the compass of our lives. JESUS tells us about eternity. We can choose to live in Him, for Him, and with Him, knowing that our lives will become a reflection of His love here on earth. We can also choose to live for ourselves, storing up earthly treasures and living a convenient comfort. Either way, the choice is ours.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

If we choose the treasures on earth, we will end up like the Rich Man in Luke 16:19-31. If we choose JESUS, salvation and eternity in heaven is ours. “...that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved,” Romans 10:9; “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day,” John 6:40.

Remember, we are saved not by works but by faith; yet faith without works is dead. “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast,” Ephesians 2:8-9; “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also,” James 2:26. 

While we have today, let us ask ourselves, 'What are we living for?'

RIP with Jesus, UJ; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Talk Tuesday-Lest We Forget

Lest we forget...

This week we celebrated the tremendous sacrifice of our war veterans. We honoured those who gave their lives so courageously, that we might live in freedom. We wore poppies to remind ourselves of the gift of their sacrifice. On November 11th, we paid homage to our fallen soldiers, with the following words resonating throughout our nation, 'Lest we forget...' Today I say, "Thank you, Lord, for their sacrifice."

Yet, there is a sacrifice of One much greater than a million brave men. One whose sacrifice is so great, that it altered the course of humanity forever. One whose sacrifice wraps up hope in the gift of promise. Sinners are saved. The lost are found. The broken are restored. The blind can see. The prodigal is welcomed home. What a beautiful sacrifice!

I confess, sometimes I forget. Sometimes worry, stress, disappointment, judgment, fear and doubt cloud my memory. So I write this post lest I forget...lest we forget...who JESUS is. HE says:

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep," John 10:11.

"I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved." John 10:9

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10

"I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35

"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." John 6:51

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener." John 15:1

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live." John 11:25

Remember His sacrifice...lest we forget.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Talk Tuesday-What Do You Like To Eat?

Um, let me start off this week's Talk Tuesday by openly confessing something about myself-I LOVE to eat! Sweets are good, desserts, ice cream and junk food are fine, but I'm more of a meat and potatoes kinda' person. I love food, as in solid, good, hearty food...and if you read last week's post, you'll know that Christmas means a LOT of food! Well, it occurred to me recently that what I put in my body has a bearing on my health. I guess its the same with us spiritually. What we feed ourselves will have a bearing on what we look like as Christians.

In John 4 we meet Jesus in the process of sharing the gift of salvation with a Samaritan woman at the well. That's a cultural double-whammy for Him: a Jew talking to a Samaritan, and a man talking to a woman. His disciples, 'surprised to find Him talking to a woman,' say nothing to Him but instead urge Him to eat. 31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” 33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” 34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” John 4:31-38

Wow! The disciples got quite a mouthful from JESUS. He tells them that His spiritual food is to obey the will of His Father, which is to harvest souls for His Kingdom. To the Samaritan woman drawing water at the well, JESUS says, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life,” John 4:13-14.

So, as we approach Christmas...I know, I know, here we go again, right?...let us begin to prepare to eat the food that JESUS did. Let us prepare to do the will of the Father and share the Good News with those we meet. Merry Christmas and Happy Eating!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Talk Tuesday-Christmas in October!

Okay, okay, I know it may seem excessive to start celebrating Christmas in October, but the truth is that I can't help it! I LOVE Christmas! I love the smell of the pine trees, the lights, the food, the feeling of warmth and togetherness, the scent of baked cookies, the songs, and the anticipation of eating lots of yummy food...but most of all I love what it is all about... the fact that, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

What does it mean that GOD sent JESUS down to earth? We are RECONCILED to GOD and we are REDEEMED from the dominion, penalty and scourge of sin by the blood of JESUS shed on the cross.

"My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."
1 John 2:1-2


RECONCILIATION is the restoration of our relationship with GOD THE FATHER: Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

REDEMPTION involves JESUS paying the price for our lives, covering the cost of our sin and buying back our lives from the penalty of sin: "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23

So, let's not wait until Christmas to start singing, "O Come Let Us Adore Him" but let us always worship JESUS who "6 Who, being in very nature GOD, did not consider equality with GOD something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross! 9 Therefore GOD exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of JESUS every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, to the glory of GOD the Father." Philippians 2:6-11

 Merry Christmas in October! Happy JESUS day everyone!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Talk Tuesday - Why, Lord, Do You Stand Far Off?

In Psalm 10:1 the psalmist says,

“Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”

Doesn’t it feel like that sometimes? When we are at the lowest it feels like God is not there, but God is there. We can see the light of a candle when it is in a dark room. God reveals Himself most when we go through trials.

Sometimes we feel like the psalmist

“He says to himself, ‘God will never notice; He covers his face and never sees.’”  Psalm 10:11

 If you feel like God has turned His face from you and you cannot feel His presence, consider what is said in verse 17 and 18:

“You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
 You encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed.”

If you don’t feel Him, He is there. Remember, He defends the Fatherless. He is able to take you through the storm. He is faithful. Look back at your life and remember how He was there for you in the past. The Word of God says that He is faithful.

Psalm 10:12

“Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.”

He did not forget you.

There is a song written by Worship Leader Kari Jobe, titled, I Know That You Are For Me. It is our Movie Monday post for this week. Listen to it and let it minister to your heart. May you feel God’s presence today, in Jesus Name we pray, Amen.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Talk Tuesday - Fisher of Men

The Lord led me to Luke 5 as I was doing my devotions the other day. It moved me so much that I plastered it on the wall in my home office. In this scripture we see Peter coming from a night of fishing, disappointed because he did not catch anything. Jesus tells him to go and throw his net into the deep. Peter replies that they were fishing all night and did not catch anything, but he did as Jesus said. God then blessed him with a huge catch they could not contain. Peter fell to his knees.

 Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” Luke 5:10 

 Has God called you to be a fisher of men? 

 We have a young friend that goes with his church to share the gospel in the malls. My father and mother-in-law go out in the streets evangelizing. If God is real then there must be an urgency to share the good news. And it is good news! Your life is a testimony of how good God is. You have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. I know it is hard for some people, it is hard for me but God wants to use you to speak into someone's life. You don't have to go in the street but what about your workplace or your school? We are all called to make disciples.

 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Talk Tuesday-Remember To Give Thanks

Many of us can testify to the faithfulness of the LORD, especially when we are in the valley of suffering. It is here that we are able to experience GOD's unfailing love in a very unique and powerful way. When the season of affliction ends, prayer is answered and we are back on level ground, do we remember to return and give thanks? The story of then Ten Lepers in Luke 17:11-19 tells of ten men who were healed, yet only one of them, a Samaritan, returns to give praise and thanks to Jesus.

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:11-19

This is an interesting story. Where did the other nine go? Why was the foreigner the only one to return to Jesus with thanksgiving and praise in his mouth?

Today, in my quiet time, I meditated on Psalm 106. The Psalmist opens up with, “Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever. Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the LORD or fully declare His praise?” Psalm 106:1-2. Yet the rest of Psalm 106 sadly recounts the forgetful, idolatrous, apathetic, and rebellious response of the people to the GOD who worked miraculous deeds on their behalf. I was reminded to GIVE THANKS at all times, putting GOD first, even as my feet begin to settle on level ground.

“FATHER help us by the power of your HOLY SPIRIT to recall to mind your goodness, faithfulness and enduring love, as we go about our daily lives. May we constantly walk in a stance of thanksgiving and praise, bringing glory to Your Son JESUS CHRIST, in whose name we make this prayer. Amen.”

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Talk Tuesday-Welcome To Jesus!

Today we live in what can be called an 'i-Culture'. We speak of our right to the pursuit of happiness. We often hear people refer to 'karma' in response to someone getting their 'just due'. The phrase, 'I'm a good person' has become commonplace. It is even popular for it to be said, 'I am a god' and that prayers uttered to ' the universe' will yield the answers we desire. The Apostle Paul writes, “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen,” Romans 1:25. If we are so good, then what is sin? Can we be sinless/good?

The New Testament is written in the language of the Old Testament; it is the fulfillment of the promises of the Old Testament. Did you know that there are 613 Mizvot (Commandments) in the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible)? If even one of these Commandments is broken, sin is committed. Wow! So how can I be a good person when in the secrecy of my heart and my home I 'accidentally' and deliberately say and do things that hurt others and offend God in the pursuit of my own happiness? God made provision for our sin. The Book of Leviticus speaks of the Sacrificial System, in which the blood of animals is shed for the remission of our sins, but it is not permanent, it is constantly needed. The culmination of this is the Day of Atonement, Leviticus 16 (known today as Yom Kippur), where atonement is made for the entire community and it's living space, because SIN CONTAMINATES even our very surroundings. “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life,” Leviticus 17:11.

So what about the blood in today's i-Culture? The Apostle Paul, who is described as 'a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees' (Acts 23:6), who 'studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law' (Acts 22:3) boldly proclaims:

“21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Romans 6:23.

Welcome to JESUS!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


King David is often referred to as 'a man after God's own heart' (Acts 13:22). David was not a sinless man, but he was a man who loved God wholeheartedly. When he sinned with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11), God's rod of punishment extended to David (2 Samuel 12), yet His mercy and love remained. God promised David, “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom,” 2 Samuel 7:12. “I will be his Father and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But my mercy shall not depart from him as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever,” 2 Samuel 7:14.

King Solomon, David's successor and the offspring of his marriage to Bathsheba, was blessed by God and became known as the wisest and wealthiest king in all the earth (1 Kings 10:23). Yet Solomon forsook the Lord, worshipping the idols of his foreign wives. God punished him by raising up his servant, Jeroboam son of Nebat, as his adversary to whom he gave the majority of the kingdom, while one kingdom was reserved for Solomon's son, Rehoboam. The Prophet Ahijah said to Jeroboam, “But I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand and give it to you-ten tribes. And to his son, I will give one tribe, that My servant David may always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for Myself, to put My name there,” 1 Kings 11:35-36. Israel becomes known 'Israel' and 'Judah', with 'Judah' remaining with Solomon's son.

Fast forward to many years later. Israel is taken into captivity by Assyria, while Judah is in the throes of committing the sin of idolatry. God sends the Prophet Jeremiah to warn the people of Judah to repent or face disaster. They do not listen even as the first wave of deportation to Babylon has begun. God raises up the Prophet Ezekiel for the exiles in Babylon, while Jeremiah stays with the remnant in Judah for a while. Yet, God's edict of disaster and punishment ends with the promise of restoration, joy, peace and unrelenting love. “'The days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their forefathers to possess,' says the Lord,” Jeremiah 30:3. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will rebuild you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel,” Jeremiah 31:3-4.

In 1948 a united Israel became a nation-state.

“'The days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness,'” Jeremiah 23:5-6.  Matthew 1:1 refers to JESUS as the 'Son of David'. Matthew 1:23 states, “'Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son and they shall call His name Immanuel,' which is translated, 'God with us.'" Isaiah prophesies, “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this,” Isaiah 9:6-7.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Talk Tuesday-How Can We Set Our Minds On Things Above?

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory,” Colossians 3:2-4.

The Apostle Paul instructs us on how to think in a way that will help us live Godly lives. The reward will be sweet, no doubt, but how do we get to that place where we live for Christ and not for ourselves? Jesus warns us, saying, “19 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

What does it mean to 'set our minds on things above'? How can we do that when we are constantly inundated with 'earthly' cares, tempted by carnal pleasures and challenged by earthly standards that often clash with our Christian beliefs?

This week on BGO we want to try something different. Please share with us some practical advice on how we can “set our minds on things above”.  We have many readers who are often encouraged by the comments of fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord, so share your ideas with us! Let us continue to encourage one another on to eternal life in Christ Jesus. In the end the reward will be great! Simply click on the comments link below to post! Thank you and may the LORD JESUS CHRIST bless you all abundantly.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Talk Tuesday-We Are Being Called Forth

I feel the Spirit of God calling forth His people to a deeper walk with Him. It is as though He is calling us through the Refiner's fire, moulding and shaping us for His Kingdom purpose here on earth. We have been chosen live in such a time as this, in such a season as this and we must seek His will for our lives, not our own. It is difficult. Jesus says, “24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honour,” John 12:24-26.

If you have sin in your life, or feel unworthy of His calling, you only need to repent and receive His forgiveness. Don't let Satan deceive you into believing that you will never amount to anything, or that the clay cannot be reshaped for use by the Potter. Know that the blood shed on Calvary's Cross is meant to wash away your sins.

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

1 John 2:1-2 “8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:8-9

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." 1 John 1:7

Let the Holy Spirit guide you in your quest to deepen your walk with God. Know Him and let the power of His Word feed your soul. He requires that we put HIM FIRST in our lives. “15 If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you,” John 14:15-17.

“33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Trust in the LORD with all your heart. Commit your ways to Him. Seek Him and you WILL find Him. Know that He desires to bless you. Hold on through the fiery trial, and He will redeem your suffering. This life is short, filled with hills and valleys. If you choose Him, then CHOOSE HIM. Walk faithfully before the LORD. Let us take up our cross, follow Jesus Christ and encourage one another.

“12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3

Be blessed in Christ!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Talk Tuesday-After Having Done All, Then Stand

This seems to be a season of great trial and testing for many Christians. It is as though the earth is groaning, hearts are breaking and temptation is pulling at the resolve of the most stout-hearted in the Lord. In times of confusion, when 'sight' is trying to drown out your faith, stand on the Word of GOD to keep you afloat, and remember, JESUS IS IN THE BOAT WITH YOU! HE IS THE ROCK!

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; 
never will I forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5

“When the enemy comes in like a flood,
 The Spirit Of The Lord will lift up a standard against him.” Isaiah 59:19

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

“The floods have lifted up, O Lord, 
the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The Lord on high is mightier
 than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea.” Psalm 93:3-4

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

“'No weapon formed against you shall prosper, 
and every tongue which rises against you in judgment 
you shall condemn.
 This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,'
says the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17

“And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'” 2 Corinthians 12:9

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High 
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; 
My God, in Him I will trust.'” Psalm 91:1-2

“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, 
to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

“ 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, 'Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?' 39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Peace, be still!' And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:37-39

“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:10-18

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Talk Tuesday-Don't Be Discouraged By Your Fear

Faith and fear co-exist in an unequal balance throughout most of our lives. It is almost impossible to know what faith is without experiencing the fear that doubt brings. The Apostle Paul boldly proclaims that, “...we live by faith, not by sight,” 2 Corinthians 5:7. Fear is driven by sight, and its offspring is doubt. Faith, while unseen, is built on trust. This trust is predicated on the knowledge of who GOD is, and that HE WILL DO WHAT HE SAYS HE WILL DO. “God is not a man, that He should lie,
 or a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfil it?" Numbers 23:19. Faith exists in spite of our fear, and trust overcomes doubt. Doubt and fear exist in the shadow of faith when we, as earthly sojourners, hold on to the power of our resurrected Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who promises eternal life to all who believe in Him. “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see,” Hebrews 11:1.

How can we increase our faith, and diminish our fear? Hebrews 4:12 states that the Word of God is sharper than any double-edged sword, while Isaiah 55:11 reminds us that God's Word will not return to Him void; it will accomplish His will in our lives. Faith rooted in God's Word provides us with the power to stand in the midst of painful circumstances. Jesus Himself exemplified this by His response to Satan's temptation in the desert, “But He answered and said, 'It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,’” Matthew 4:4 (Deuteronomy 8:3). Paul writes to the church in Ephesus and calls the Word of the God, 'the sword of the Spirit' (Ephesians 6:17).

We at BGO want to encourage you to stand firm in your faith. We have witnessed God work miracles in our lives and continue to see Him move mountains that appeared unshakeable to our human eyes. Many of you know that I have faced health issues in the past. After my initial diagnosis and two subsequent surgeries, I was left with some residual mobility deficit. Each year I was told that I would not see much more improvement. Each year I did. During my last annual check up, I heard the words, “You are going to deteriorate.” Yet the truth is that I am continuing to see remarkable improvement.

Don't be discouraged by your fear, just take it to the cross. Line it up against the Word of God, and watch it crumble as your faith starts to take an immoveable shape. Jesus never said our sojourn would be easy. “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world,” John 16:33. Hold on to God's Word and remember, “Those who trust in the Lord
 are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
 so the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever,” Psalm 125:1-2. Be blessed!

We invite you to share your testimony of the many times that God's Word strengthened your faith and crushed your fear. Click on the comments link below to do so. You never know who you might encourage today!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Talk Tuesday-A Lesson From Psalm 95: Thank Him In The Day of Your Trial

Last night I learned a very valuable lesson from Psalm 95. This was a Word GOD had given in the midst of a very dark and long trial. It begins with praise:

“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is the great God, and the great King above all gods. In His hands are the deep places of the earth; the heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.” Psalm 95:1-7

For those of you who don't know, I am a worship leader and a soloist at church. My heart's passion is to sing God's praises and to encourage others to join in unbridled praise to the LORD. I am happiest when I am worshiping with my brothers and sisters in Christ, with my family or by myself with my guitar in a room. I love meditating on His Word. I love to remember His great deeds, the many times He parted the 'Red Sea' in my own life, and to give Him the praise of thanksgiving.

Yet I will be the first to confess that it is much easier to praise and thank God when life is going well. It is hard to 'sing joyfully' when everything seems bleak and hopeless. When your situation seems to be getting worse instead of getting better, and when you cannot see the proverbial 'light at the end of the tunnel', the temptation to shut down spiritually is very great. The temptation to find alternate means of coping becomes even greater. I recently began to experience discouragement that was so great, I started slipping towards spiritual apathy- watching t.v. and reading fiction books so that I could block reality out. I started spending less time with God, and more time in pursuit of earthly pleasures. This lasted about two weeks. A few days ago, a very close friend of mine came to visit. Unbeknownst to her, God used her to snap me back into the reality of who He is. Then last night, as I sat down to meditate on Psalm 95, I realized that it is precisely at this time we MUST remember that GOD alone is our Refuge! Like the Israelites, who passed down through oral tradition, the many miraculous works that the LORD had done on their behalf, we MUST remind ourselves of who God is by thanking Him for the many answered prayers in our own lives. A posture of praise will keep us grounded in Christ.

“Today if you will hear His voice: 'Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, as in the day of trial in the wilderness, when your fathers tested Me; they tried Me, though they saw my work. For forty years I was grieved with that generation, and said, It is a people who go astray in their hearts, and they do not know my ways. So I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest.'” Psalm 95:8-11

LORD, we pray for the grace, strength, courage and fortitude to remember who You are in the midst of the storm. Holy Spirit, bring to the forefront of our minds, the memories of the many things God has done on our behalf in the past. Help us to recall His wondrous works. Lord Jesus, You sit at the right hand of God the Father making constant intercession for us. Help us to be a people of praise and great faith, so that we would not harden our hearts in the days of our own trials, but declare through faith in You, that we are more than conquerors! We ask these things, in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Talk Tuesday-How Do You Hear The Voice of The Lord?

I have often heard Christians say, “God spoke to my heart.” I could remember being confused by this as a much younger Christian, yet as I journeyed with the Lord I began to understand. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me,” John 10:27. “15 If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth,” John 14:15-16. As a young christian, I had a passion for reading the Bible. I would sit and spend hours reading, then silently meditating on what I had read. It was as though some invisible force was connecting my heart to the words, and the words were challenging, shaping, moulding, correcting and transforming my heart. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart,” Hebrews 4:12; “26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you,” John 14:26.

Let me share a personal experience with you. It was my turn to lead worship last Sunday at church. As I was going through the list of songs, I asked the Holy Spirit to help me choose. He brought to mind a hymn, 'Great Is Thy Faithfulness'. I had never personally done that hymn in my worship set before, but I complied. Worship was anointed and sweet. Together as a congregation we sang, “Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with Thee. Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not. As Thou has been, Thou forever wilt be.” Now as we got to the chorus, the truth of the words became palpable in the sanctuary, “Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see: All I have needed Thy hand hath provided, Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!” All day I kept humming that song.

Since then, I have continued to experience an ongoing trial. As I woke up this morning, the first thing I heard was the song, echoing in my heart. As I proceeded to do my homework for my course on Spiritual Formation, which I am taking at seminary, I opened up my workbook to today's exercise. We are required to read the entire Book of Lamentations...and there I saw it! “Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness,” Lamentations 3:22-23. Section c) of my workbook states, “The following songs have been inspirational for the people of God throughout past and present generations. As you read (sing) these songs try to discover how they speak into your life today,” (Re-Connect, Spiritual Exercises To Develop Intimacy With GOD by David Sherbino, p.69). Below, in my workbook, was the song, 'Great Is Thy Faithfulness'!

Now some may attribute this to coincidence, but for me, it is the voice of God! The Holy Spirit led me to that hymn. The Holy Spirit began to work its truth in my heart through music, and today, through the reading of the actual scripture. As I sat to do my homework, I stopped in my tracks and stared in amazement at the words before me, 'GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS, LORD UNTO ME!' Now I can continue to walk through my trial with the peace that God's faithfulness will bring a blessed result.

How do you hear the voice of the LORD? How do you know it is He who is speaking, and not another? Please click on the comments link below to share your thoughts with the BGO Community of believers. We love hearing from you!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Talk Tuesday-Our Battle Cry

I have often heard it said that the battle the Lord's. What does this mean? We are called to trust God in every season of our lives, but when the battle is raging, the struggle between faith and fear escalates. In 2 Chronicles 20, the people of Moab, Ammon and Mount Seir come to battle against the people of Judah. King Jehosaphat gathers all the people together to pray and seek the LORD. They begin their petition by acknowledging who God is, recounting what He has done for them and declaring their dependence on Him alone. 

“O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? 7 Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? 8 And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, 9 ‘If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’ 10 And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir—whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them— 11 here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit. 12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You,” 2 Chronicles 20:6-12.  

God's response, communicated through Jahaziel son of Zechariah, is a bold proclamation of protection, favour and victory.“Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s,” 2 Chron. 15; “'You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you,” 2 Chronicles 20:17. 

In the midst of the battle patience, perseverance and faith are required of God's children. Yet, it is the presence of praise and worship that moves God's mighty hand. “Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated,” 2 Chron. 20:22.  

How can we trust God when things seem impossible? What are some of the things you do to keep grounded in faith when fear is pounding at the door of your heart? Why do you think praise and worship was important here? Do you find it hard to worship in the midst of the battle?  Please share your thoughts with the BGO community by clicking on the comments link below. We look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Talk Tuesday-The Voice of The Deceiver

This week I was talking to someone who shared a testimony of how her obedience brought the blessing and faithfulness of GOD in her life. Her parting words were, “The only things that matter are obedience and faith.” I began to ponder this and wondered, “Why do we disobey God when we know what He requires of us?”

In the book of 1 Kings, chapters 12 & 13, we meet a broken Israelite kingdom after the death of King Solomon. Ten tribes went with Jeroboam son of Nebat, while Judah and Benjamin remained with Rehoboam, Solomon's son. Jeroboam believed that if the people went to Jerusalem to worship at the Temple, their allegiance would revert to Solomon's son so he built altars of idolatry in Bethel and Dan, placing golden calves upon them telling the people, “Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt,” 1 Kings 12:28. The LORD sent a prophet, 'a man of God', to Bethel to speak against this altar of idolatry. The prophet was given strict instructions by God not to accept the hospitality of anyone from the town, but to prophesy and leave. When the 'man of God' had finished his task, King Jeroboam invited him into his home and offered him a gift. He replied, “Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water here. For I was commanded by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came,’” 1 Kings 13:8-9.

“Now there was a certain old prophet living in Bethel whose sons came and told him all that the man of God had done that day,” 1 Kings 13:11. This old prophet went in search of the prophet. “He found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, 'Are you the man of God who came from Judah?' 'I am,' he replied. So the prophet said to him, 'Come home with me and eat.' The man of God said, 'I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place.'” 1 Kings 13:14-16. The old prophet responded, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the LORD: 'Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.' (But he was lying to him.) So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house,” 1 Kings 13:18-19. “While they were sitting at the table, the word of the Lord came to the old prophet who had brought him back. He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, 'This is what the Lord says: You have defied the word of the Lord and have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your ancestors,’” 1 Kings 13:20-22.

Why did the first prophet-'the man of God'-reject God's instruction? What caused him to change his mind even after he declined the King's offer? What causes us to disobey God, even after He has directed our paths in the way in which we should walk? Please click on the comments link below to share your thoughts with us at BGO. We look forward to hearing from you and thank you for walking with us! Let us encourage each other in Christ!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Talk Tuesday-Live According To The Spirit

We live in a culture in which it is becoming increasingly more difficult to live according to the Spirit. Our trendy postmodern society inadvertently pressures us to accept all things as good, while frowning on any stance against sin or the desire to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. While our brothers and sisters face overt persecution in the 10/40 window, we in the Western World face persecution of a different kind. It is the covert pressure to renounce God's truth in exchange for the idea of living 'peaceably' with our neighbour. What we share in common with our fellow human beings is our 'sinnership'. What distinguishes us from the world is not our own righteousness, but Christ's righteousness imputed to us. The Apostle Paul tells us that, "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God," 2 Corinthians 5:21. "This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe," Romans 3:22.

Let us, therefore, encourage one another to live according to the Spirit of God who created us for His honour, glory and purpose. Do not become weary of living out the Gospel of Salvation. Jesus said, "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance," Luke 5:32. In the same way, He left us with the Great Commission of Matthew 28:16-20, to go and make disciples of all nations. Our peace, lies in loving GOD wholeheartedly, which will direct our hearts towards obedience in His Word through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:5-6

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:14-17

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Talk Tuesday-The Old Testament and The Cross; HAPPY EASTER!!!

The power of God's love so magnificently displayed on the Cross, was first introduced to us in the Old Testament by the Passover (Pesach; Exodus 11-13), the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur; Leviticus 16) and the Prophet Isaiah.

The blood of the Passover Lamb, without blemish (Exodus 12:5), was put on the doorposts of Israel to protect their firstborn from the death pronounced upon Pharaoh and Egypt. It heralded Israel's deliverance from the bondage of slavery.

After they departed from Egypt, God established His covenant with Israel, setting them apart as His chosen people through which He would reveal Himself to the rest of the world. “For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy,” (Leviticus 11:44). God's holy presence among a sinful people resulted in the sacrificial system. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul,” (Leviticus 17:11). Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest entered into Most Holy Place, to make atonement for the sins of the people and to purify their dwelling.

The Prophet Isaiah noted that He would be born of a virgin, He would be 'God with us' (Isaiah 7:14), He would be the sin sacrifice, He would bring atonement, He would suffer and die (Isaiah 53), and would be a light to the Gentiles (Isaiah 11:10).

This Easter let us consider what The Cross means.

For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” 1 Corinthians 5:7

“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Ephesians 1:7

“24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Hebrews 9:24-26

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

“For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” Luke 2:30-32

“19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:19-23

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Movie Monday - It's Not Over - Israel & New Breed

You have to listen to this song!  If you are going through something, this song will lift your heart.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Talk Tuesday-Intercessory Prayer

There is such power in intercessory prayer. It is the act of praying to the Lord GOD on behalf of someone else. As I was meditating on the scriptures in Exodus and Deuteronomy, I was both moved and amazed by the power of intercessory prayer, as exemplified by Moses.

After the Israelites crossed the Red Sea by the awesome power of God's mighty hand, they encamped in Horeb. Moses went up on the Mount of Horeb (Deut. 4:10-13), also known as Mount Sinai (Exodus 19), for forty days and forty nights, where the LORD gave him the Ten Commandments. During this time, the people said to Aaron, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him,” Exodus 32:1. They stripped off all their gold, boiled it down and built the golden calf. “They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt,’” Exodus 32:8. God's anger burned against them, “ 'I have seen these people,' the Lord said to Moses, 'and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation,'” Exodus 32:9-10. Moses responds by interceding on their behalf.

“I lay prostrate before the Lord those forty days and forty nights because the Lord had said he would destroy you. I prayed to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed by your great power and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand.” Deuteronomy 9:25-26

“Now I had stayed on the mountain forty days and nights, as I did the first time, and the Lord listened to me at this time also. It was not his will to destroy you. 'Go,' the Lord said to me, 'and lead the people on their way, so that they may enter and possess the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.'” Deuteronomy 10:10-11.

Moses' intercessory prayer changed the course of events for the people of Israel. Prayer changes things. It was Jesus who, while on the cross, prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,” Luke 23:34. If you are praying for a loved one, do not stop. If you are praying for a nation, do not stop. If you are praying for the lost, do not stop. If you are praying for the sick, do not stop. Always remember to pray in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, who lives to intercede for us.

“Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:23-25

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Talk Tuesday-In The Crucible of Trials

When we find ourselves in the crucible of trials and the agony of the refiner’s fire, along come our “well meaning supporters and detractors” to convince us that we must have done some dastardly deeds to stir up the wrath of God upon our lives. Job, a man considered by God to be “blameless and upright, who feared God and shunned evil, (Job 1:8)” faced horrible, denigrating trials. As he endured in utter humility, his face set like flint in reverence to God, along came four “well meaning friends,” accusing him of justly receiving the wages of his sins.

Eliphaz expounds: “Consider now: Who being innocent, has ever perished: Where were the upright ever destroyed:” Job:4:7

Bildad zeroes in: “ If you are pure and upright, Even now He will rouse Himself on your behalf And restore you to your rightful place.” Job 8: 6

Zophar rebukes: “Put away the sin that is in your hand.” Job 11: 14

Then the Lord expressed His anger to Job’s friends: “..because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has….My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what right as my servant Job has. Job 42: 7 – 9

After Job’s trials, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before, “And the Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.” (Job 42”12)

BGO brethren, are you in the Crucible of trials or in the agony of the Refiner’s fire? Do you stand blameless before God? Then do not listen to the lies of your accusers and detractors. Keep your focus on Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of your faith, and like Job, God will bless the latter part of your life more than the first!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Talk Tuesday – Falling in Love With God, Again

Today I was blessed at our men's prayer meeting. I saw two men totally in love, not with their wives, but with God. One was a man so on fire for the Lord that it reminded me of the days when I first came to Christ-all I could do was enjoy being in His presence. Another was an elder in the church still very much on fire for the Lord. I pray that I am still like that when I am his age. At the prayer meeting I felt the Holy Spirit say, “Fall in love with me again.”

 Is God our all? Do we pursue Him as we would the person we love? Are we on fire for Him just as we were when we were first saved? My challenge to you is, “Fall in love with God again!” I know you read your Bible. I know you go to church. But are you totally, madly in love with Jesus? Join me in pursuing God and let's fall in love with Him again.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."   Jeremiah 29:13


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Talk Tuesday-The Power of Praise

I woke up on Monday with a terrible feeling of sadness. Sorrow's blanket had cloaked the sun from my heart and it's heaviness weighed me down. I sat up, picked up my journal and began to pour out my heart to the One who hears, sees, and knows all things-to the One whose mercy and love covers all my sin, burdens and pain. It is fitting to seek solace in the arms of the One who created us, for God our Father loves us beyond measure-Christ's nail pierced hands bear witness to this.

The Psalms reflect the many emotions of King David and the people of Israel, as they experienced trials throughout the journey of life. Yet even when they reflect despair they inevitably end by echoing songs of praise. By the second page of my letter to the Lord, I paused and thought, 'I have many things to give thanks for. Why don't I write them all out?' I immediately switched gears and began each new sentence with, 'Thank you for...'. I became lost in the task at hand, expressing thanks to my Father for each little and big blessing in my life. I had just finished writing two and half pages of thanksgiving when I suddenly realized that I felt better. The heaviness simply left! I was stunned, and frankly unable to remember the exact moment the sun pierced through the darkness of my heart.

The Psalmist writes, "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God,' Psalm 43:5.

Yesterday I was reminded of the Power of Praise. GOD is enthroned in the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). "It is good to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night," Psalm 92:1-2.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Talk Tuesday-Happy New Year; Keep Watch!

The Psalmist writes, "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom," Psalm 90:12. Many of us rang in the year 2013 amidst much celebration. However, with each new year, comes the sobering realization that we are drawing closer to the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. How we choose to live our lives is as important today as it was yesterday. Jesus tells us that while, "...about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father..." Matthew 24:36, we are to live our lives in a state of readiness,"...So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him," Matthew 24:44.

Let us take stock of our lives and keep watch. Jesus uses the lesson of the Great Flood to remind us of this very important thing. "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away," Matthew 24:37-39. 

Lord, help us to be like the 10 Wise Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), whose lamps were trimmed with oil in faithful expectancy. Let us be the servants to whom you say, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share in your master's happiness!' Matthew 25:21. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

We, here at BGO, wish you a Blessed, Christ-centered, New Year guided by the watchwords 'FAITH', 'TRUST', 'OBEDIENCE', 'LOVE' and 'GRACE'!